DIY Staging: How to Stage a Home
Let’s face it: we all get a certain satisfaction from doing things ourselves. Between saving money and having that incredible feeling of accomplishment – sometimes, there’s just nothing better!
That’s true when it comes to getting your home ready to sell, too. While you can benefit from hiring a professional home stager, you can learn how to do it yourself if hiring an expert just isn’t an option. We won’t tell you that it’s easy, but we will tell you that it takes an eye for detail, a solid knowledge about what looks good where, and a lot of hard work.
How to Stage a Home: Start by Being Objective
It’s hard to be objective about your own home. When you’re forced to make decisions about what to pack away – things that you love, things you chose to reflect your personality or things given to you as gifts that represent fond memories of people you care about – things start to get tough.
But you have to realize that prospective buyers don’t have the sentimental attachments to your décor and personal items that you do.
And the entire purpose of staging your home is to make it as appealing as possible to prospective buyers.
Learning to View Your Home From an Outsider’s Perspective
Most people aren’t immune to the little voice that says, “I’m selling the house – not the stuff in it, so why does it matter if I leave it the way it is?” and “If they don’t like the way it looks, then they have no taste!”
That thought process is fine when you’re having your mother-in-law over or distant cousins are coming to stay for a few weeks in the summer. It’s not fine when you’re trying to make your house the most desirable one on the market.
While you can’t stamp out that voice, you have to overrule it if you want to sell your home quickly and at the right price.
The bottom line is that you need to appeal to as many buyers as possible, and you can’t do that with a massive portrait of Chief Pontiac staring down at the dining table, silk flower arrangements on the tables or outdated fixtures that swallow light and prevent people from seeing your house’s best features.
The Basics of Staging Your Own Home
While a professional home stager is nearly always your best option, you can still tackle the basics:
Generally, a good staging job starts with a thorough decluttering. Look at everything you have and take out half (or more). You don’t have to get rid of it all – you can put it in storage and take it back out when you move into your next home.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t used something in 6 months or more, it’s time to decide whether you need it for sentimental or practical reasons, or if you can donate, sell or trash it.
After you’ve decluttered, start removing personal effects. Your job is to create a neutral environment that lets prospective home-buyers envision their belongings in your space. Take down:
- Family photos
- Religious décor
- Excessive seasonal décor
- Personal collectibles and sentimental items
- Anything that could be risqué (if it would surprise your great-grandma, it has to go)
Create clear traffic paths in each room and give each room a defined purpose. If furniture gets in the way – or if it doesn’t match what the room is for (a treadmill in the guest bedroom, for example) – move it to another location or put it in storage.
As you arrange your living room, media room or other gathering space, put furniture in conversational groups. Make it look like the space was designed for entertaining and you almost can’t go wrong.
The Odd Number Rule in Home Staging
Not all expert home stagers follow the odd-number rule, but here it is: Group items in odd numbers and stagger them on surfaces. Put some objects closer to the edge and others back from it to create depth, whether you’re working with a fireplace mantel or a shelf.
What if You Could Hire a Professional Stager?
Ultimately, no one else can decide whether you try the DIY route or you hire a professional home stager. There are plenty of great tools out there to help you stage your own home – books, home staging blogs, videos and more – but no one knows how to stage a home better than a professional stager does.
Hiring a professional may be more affordable than you think it is, and even better, professionally staged homes sell faster and for more money than their counterparts do.
Call us at 214-935-5345 for a free consultation with professional home stagers right now. We’ll come to your home and give you staging advice you won’t find on any blog or HGTV video – and we’ll provide you with a quote on the spot so you can discover for yourself how hiring a stager can pay off at the closing table.